Winter view of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy, a key protected area in the Yellowstone to Yukon region. Image: Karsten Heuer
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Susan A. Holmes

“Washington, D.C. needs to hear the visionary thinking of groups like Y2Y. I’m excited to be part of the team and look forward to reporting back the progress made in the near term.”
Susan A.Holmes
Y2Y U.S. Connectivity Policy Coordinator

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Peel Watershed with People. Image: Juri Peepre
If protected, the Peel Watershed would be one of the largest protected areas in the Yellowstone to Yukon vision. Image: Juri Peepre
Policy determines what lands are protected, where development takes place, and how land uses are managed. These decisions affect our landscape beyond the administration of the day – they have enduring impacts. The issues that concern Y2Y, such as the survival of grizzly bears, reducing vehicle and wildlife collisions, and keeping some lands in a wilderness state for the benefit of both people and wildlife, could be more easily addressed if government policies were more favorable.


Unfortunately, the policies necessary to achieve large-scale conservation often are not in place. For example, there are very few legal mechanisms, either in Canada or the U.S., that facilitate the protection of wildlife corridors.


Baby Pronghorn. Image: Kent Nelson
In 2008, new policies were set in place to ease the 100-mile (160-km) migration route of the pronghorn through Wyoming. Image: Kent Nelson
Getting the right policies in place is a foundation for conservation success. Y2Y and its many partner groups are working with all levels of government in areas to create a shift in policy that will have long-lasting and multiplying effects for conservation. This includes municipalities (some of whom have adopted wildlife corridors into their municipal development plans), provinces and states (e.g. highway wildlife crossing initiatives), and federal jurisdictions like the U.S. Forest Service (which now considers connectivity under its new forest planning rules).


  • Influence Canada’s Yukon government’s land-use plan to protect 80% of the Peel Watershed.
  • Influence the Alberta government’s land-use plan to increase protection for Alberta Headwaters.
  • Encourage a national network of U.S. wildlife corridors.
  • Promote inclusion of wildlife corridors in U.S. National Forest plan updates.
  • Y2Y has co-authored with The Center for Large Landscape Conservation and Wildlands Network and published a guide for US groups working to ensure that connectivity is included in updated national forest management plans. Download the PDF of the guide here


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Fight For Your Parks

— Posted on Oct 05, 2015 07:52 PM in: Updates from the Field
Fight For Your Parks

Development in national parks like Banff and Jasper has always been an issue, but have we finally reached the tipped point?

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Conservationists Celebrate Expanded Protection for the Castle

— Posted on Sep 04, 2015 10:30 AM in: Media Releases
Conservationists Celebrate Expanded Protection for the Castle

With Alberta announcing full protection of the Castle region, it makes it even more clear that protecting the "missing piece" of Waterton-Glacier should be a priority.

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Badger-Two Medicine: A Sacred Place

— Posted on Aug 27, 2015 02:55 PM in: Updates from the Field
Badger-Two Medicine: A Sacred Place

The fight to protect Badger-Two Medicine heats up as energy interests push to drill for oil and gas.

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This Pivotal Lawsuit Will Decide the Future of Yukon's Peel Watershed

— Posted on Aug 25, 2015 03:19 PM in: General News
This Pivotal Lawsuit Will Decide the Future of Yukon's Peel Watershed

Last week, the Yukon Court of Appeal heard arguments about the future of the massive Peel River watershed, and about the meaning and application of modern aboriginal treaties.

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The Battle for the Peel

— Posted on Aug 05, 2015 02:07 PM in: General News
The Battle for the Peel

An in-depth look at the legal battle over the Peel Watershed, the long-term effort by First Nations and Y2Y's Yukon partners to protect this extraordinary landscape.

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